The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal

Book - 2010
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Winner of the Betty Trask Award, the NZ Society of Authors' Best First Book Award, and the Adam Prize; a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award; and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize.

Set in the aftermath of a sex scandal at an all-girls' high school, Eleanor Catton's internationally acclaimed award-winning debut is a provocative and darkly funny novel about the elusiveness of truth, the slipperiness of identity, and the emotional compromises we make to belong.
When news spreads of a high school teacher's relationship with one of his students, the teenage girls at Abbey Grange are jolted into a new awareness of their own potency and power. Although no one knows the whole truth, the girls have their own ideas about what happened. They obsessively examine the details of the affair with the curiosity and jealousy native to any adolescent girl, and they confide in their saxophone teacher, an enigmatic woman who casts a withering eye on the dramas that unfold -- both real and imagined. When the local drama school decides to use the scandal as the basis for its year-end show, the real world and the world of the theatre collide. As the story moves back and forth between the two schools -- and characters slip in and out of different personas -- the boundaries between public and private, fact and fantasy begin to dissolve.
Sharply observed, brilliantly crafted, and infused with a deliciously subversive wit, The Rehearsal is at once a vibrant portrait of teenage longing and adult regret, and a shrewd exposé of how we are all performers in life. It introduces Eleanor Catton as a boldly inventive new voice in contemporary fiction.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2010, c2008.
ISBN: 9780771019838
Characteristics: 316 p. ;,22 cm.


From the critics

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Jun 16, 2016

beautifully written

Apr 26, 2016

This book is well written and dark. The stories blended a little too much in the last 50 pages or so, to the point that it was challenging to follow. The ending leaves a little bit to be desired.

Apr 27, 2015

I read this book because I loved the Luminaries and I was not disappointed. Loved the saxophone instructor and how explicitly she chose favourites amongst her students. Pretty dark stuff.

Jul 12, 2014

Very abstract. Little many mini stories put together and not always in logical order, to create the story.
Liked it.

Oct 26, 2013

Cannot remember who recommended this book. I tried to get into the story but gave up. Saxaphone teacher just creepy not amusing or interesting,

Mar 24, 2013

This novel had my brain scrambling from the start, trying to place where we were supposed to be in time & space - where were we in the sequence of events, were we onstage or in real life, and so on. I got used to the disorientation pretty quickly but found Catton's "placing" distracting and unhelpful. Not sure what it meant to the narrative to have it jump around from Saturday to Thursday to Friday to Monday, and from September to November to July back to September and so on. I did enjoy the view she gives the reader of life in a drama school and I thought she wove the stories of the students together most compellingly. A good read in the end, if a little chilling.

Jul 27, 2012

This young author pulls off this clever story about the "real" world and performance.

ChristchurchLib Jun 02, 2011

Hard to believe this is a first novel. Catton must have spent her high school years listening to her fellow pupils speak - the dialogue is perfect and her understanding of how adolescents, especially girls, behave is unerring.

May 03, 2011

I was a year below Eleanor Catton in high school, and I'm both impressed by and envious of her talent. The thing that stands out for me is not actually the story, but just how clever and polished her writing is. It reads like a piece of art - each word is a brush stroke, each beautifully constructed sentence another layer of rich, dark paint.

Aug 10, 2010

Well written book.

However it may interest only those who are interested or versed in music and related arts.

Written with passion and illustrative with words.

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Apr 26, 2016

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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